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“awesome to do but hard work!”
Review of Nevis Peak Hike

Ranked #2 of 53 things to do in Nevis
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Owner description: This volcano is a favorite climbers, hikers and cyclists.
Reviewed 24 October 2013

amazing!!Iggy was our guide, very knowledgeable about the area and good at letting you catch your breath.
It is hard work you will be clambering up vertical paths over rocks and mud. There are lots of ropes where needed to help you up and down. Take stuff you don;t mind getting muddy and water.
We didn't get to see the view from the top as the clouds were low the day we went but honestly it didnt matter.
I think i prefered the down more than the up as it was mentally challenging and so much fun!!

1  Thank travelbunny32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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74 - 78 of 112 reviews

Reviewed 30 September 2013

My husband and I were celebrating our second anniversary in Nevis, and this hike was at the top of his to-do list. He described it to me as a hike before we went, but I found out later (during the "hike") that it's really a climb. We are both avid runners (have done several half marathons each) and we weight train 3 times a week with push-ups, pull-ups, dips, and lots of body-resistance exercises. I couldn't imagine a hike that would be too hard for me, so I agreed to go with him. I was going to be 13 weeks pregnant for the scheduled hike, and with the way we described it to our midwife, she said it would be fine but to consume lots of iron-rich foods the week before.

We were staying at the Four Seasons and the taxi ride was so bumpy we couldn't even eat our breakfast (bagels with cream cheese) on the way there. When we stopped and got out, my husband hadn't secured the hiking backpack correctly and he dropped our breakfast on the muddy ground. So we started our hike on coffee-only empty stomachs. I had packed plenty of water and energy bars, I bought us hiking shoes, and we wore workout clothes. Thank goodness we were at least that prepared. Our guide Kervin wore old tennis shoes with no laces, was slightly overweight, and was carrying a bottle of water in his hand instead of a pack. Looking at him we thought it would be pretty simple. Wrong! We ended up going through all of our water, and with Kervin included, all of our 8 energy bars.

The adventure isn't a "hike" for very long. It took us about 2.5 hours up and another 2.5 down. I can't even imagine how it could only take someone 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the top... Only the first and last 30 minutes are hiking. From there you are climbing on ropes and vines. It is muddy, and the ground and ropes are very slick. Most of the time it's easier to get a grip on the vines than the slick ropes. Our hands were so torn up after the hike, I wish we had brought weight-lifting gloves (old yucky ones since they were going to get filthy). We had to rest every once in a while on the way up. Toward the top I started getting very tired and hit my head hard on an overlying tree while climbing. I told my husband this wasn't fun for me and I had 5 minutes of climbing energy left before I stopped, peak or not. We got to the peak in 5 minutes though and couldn't see anything. We stayed for 15-20 minutes hoping the clouds would clear, but no. Never got a view of anything. We couldn't even take good pictures of us because of how thick the clouds were.

The way down was even scarier for me than the way up. If I wasn't pregnant I probably could have relaxed a little more, but every step I took and rope I hung from, I had to be so careful not to get hurt or fall because of the baby. If you think it's slippery on the way up, just wait until you head down. There was one spot in particular I remember where you have to slide across a rock face and there are no foot or hand holds. Not proud of this, but I cried. Kervin helped me across but it took me 10 minutes to get the courage to do it. I should mention I'm afraid of heights too and at that place you can see hundreds of feet down the mountain...

Overall, I was just glad the baby and I were alive afterward. I would never do it again. Had some scratches, bruises and bug bites, but nothing serious. The best part was finishing and the relief we felt afterwards. Also, you would never find anything like this in the US (not because it's a tropical volcano, but for legal reasons I couldn't imagine a trail this slippery and strenuous). We went back to the resort and worked the mud off of our clothes and bodies in the ocean. I thought our backpack and clothes would be ruined, but thankfully I threw everything in the guest laundry at the Four Seasons and it came out like new. I was very sore the next day and a little bit sore on day 2. Even though we told Kervin within the first 20 minutes of the hike that I was pregnant, he didn't mention until much later that there were other much easier hikes to do, including one he did with his girlfriend when she was pregnant. It sounds like there are better guides out there from what other reviewers have said. Overall, I'm not sorry I did it, but I would have preferred to do it before I got pregnant.

1  Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Before coming, I read all the reviews and was a bit nervous - after all, I am a 40'ish reasonably healthy, but do-not-regularly-exercise type of woman. And, yes - this is not really a hike, but more of a climb up a mountain. My husband and I figured we were ready, with hiking boots and workout clothes, and with Reggie (of Nevis Adventure Tours), our excellent guide. Although some reviewers mentioned going it alone, we were very happy we had our guides - they shared a little about the local history and various sights as we went up, and made sure we did not mis-step over the sometimes slippery rocks. They were helpful in replacing a rope needed to climb up a slippery part of the trail where a rock got dislodged.

With our guide, we not only went to the top of the trail (which we thought was the Peak), he also guided us through the bushes to the highest peak - with even better views of the island.

It is best if you are in better shape than myself (your average regular exercise with some weight training - you don't have to be a Spartan racer to do this!). However, I do neither and made it to the top in about 2-2.5 hrs. I was just VERY sore the next day. Despite this, I was able (with the help of some ibuprofen) to go on a little known waterfall hike that Reggie just started about a year ago (which was less strenuous, but beautiful for the waterfalls) two days after this Peak Hike.

2  Thank Ellen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2013

For perspective: I run marathons and ultramarathons (30-50 mile races) in the Appalachian mountains. I've done some small to mid triathlons.
This had my heart pumping quite a lot. It requires the use of ropes to get you up and down the mountain. And I don't mean little ropes to keep you from falling. I'm talking about ropes like you see hanging off a cliff that you need to pull yourself up by. Pure climbing in many places. There are almost no flat sections except for the first 200 yards. For me, this was an AWESOME, out of the box adventure for me that I was able to do while my wife had a nice spa massage. Personally, I think I made the better decision.

Logistics:
Guide or solo?
--Can you do this without a guide? Maybe. The trail isn't really marked, but if you stay on it, you should be fine. You had better have a lot of water with you and know what you're doing if you embark on this adventure w/o a guide. If you want a guide, ask one of the locals or your hotel for "Iggy." He's a fun guy that knows the mountain and will go at whatever pace you choose. They typically start from a place near Poor Man's Bar, which is also near "Peak Heaven" (or Haven, I can't remember). I think they charged about $40 per person, with a 2 person minimum. I paid him $80 because I didn't want to go with anyone else that would make me stop every 5 minutes, and I'm glad I did (only if you're in great shape).

Time / Distance--
It is about 4 miles. 2 up and 2 down. It took me about 3 hours.

Footwear--You will not enjoy this trail if you don't have some sturdy shoes. In fact, it will be downright dangerous. I had trail running shoes and I slipped and slid through the mud several times. Tennis shoes would be a disaster. You may be able to get to the top, but you could very well injure yourself on the way down.

Mud--Oh yeah. You will be a mess. Do not wear nice clothing.

Rain--Probably. It's a rainforest up there, what do you expect?
View--There is one view halfway up and then another at the top. The top is most often covered by clouds, so it would be rare to see it from up there. I got to the top and it was clear. By the time I realized I should take a picture, the clouds were already in and around us.

Monkeys-- You may or may not see any. I saw a couple at the start of the hike. It depends on the time of year.

Taxi- It's about a $40 roundtrip taxi ride from Charlestown. Your guide will call your taxi driver when you are close to being done and they'll be there waiting for you. "Teach" is a taxi driver I've always enjoyed using.

So...It's a challenge not to be taken lightly. You had better be in good shape or you will likely whine a lot and be really sore for the next 2 days. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, though!!

2  Thank Scott F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 August 2013

Fantastic 5 hours up and down through beautiful forest, challenging climbing in the safe hands of Ervine from Nevis Adventure Tours( who has so much love for his island and passion to show it off) thank god for the ropes and don't forget to " step between the roots" shame the top was cloudy but still worth the effort! Weightlifting gloves would save the hands and wear old clothes as you come back covered in mud! A day to remember

1  Thank Suzanne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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